Are you the type of person who creates your holiday list weeks or even months before the holiday season? With Christmas, Hanukah and other holidays just a couple of months away, researchers are already studying what consumers are gearing up to purchase. And while the usual suspects top their list (smartphones, computers and video games) a new technology type is quickly rising up charts: wearable activity trackers such as Apple Watch and Fitbit.
"Smart watches and wearable devices are quickly gaining steam on older technology."
A new research study conducted by the Consumer Technology Association revealed that smart watches and wearable devices are quickly gaining steam on older technology in terms of expected sales. That's great news for health aficionados, device creators and other professionals who see the benefit of using data collected by this technology.
"Adoption for fitness trackers and smart watches continues to accelerate," Harry Wang, senior director of research for Parks Associates, said in a statement. "Our research shows that there is little overlap between these two sets of owners, and smart watch owners are more likely to use the device during rigorous activities such as running, biking or swimming."
Despite the possible surge in sales, some uncertainty still exists around wearable devices. A small portion of buyers wear the gadgets but stop using them about a year after purchasing them. Should this be cause for concern?
Not at all.
Statistics indicate future growth
It's not completely atypical for some consumers to purchase the technology and stop using it after a fairly short time. After all, the devices are new, and many consumers are still trying to figure out how they best fit into their lifestyles or workout routines.
By looking at CTA's graph we can see that health trackers began to increase in popularity around 2014, a mere two years ago. Based on these numbers, we're confident in saying the mobile health market is very healthy.
CTA's graph also shows that roughly 27 percent of consumers are likely to purchase mobile health devices this holiday season. There are several other devices that will attract consumers this year, but the only ones predicted to experience growth are smartphones.
CTA is also predicting the amount of shipments for fitness trackers will increase 25 percent between 2016 and 2017.
Data leveraging is driving growth
Wearable device purchases may be increasing because they allow users to easily track the state of their health and make adjustments to their workout routine on the fly. Information that only trainers or other health professionals had access to is now in the hands of consumers – and that's a powerful benefit.
Trackers are also very convenient. Whereas many smartphones have health apps, people who like to jog with minimum baggage (clothes and literally bags) don't have to worry about lugging around a giant smartphone.
So if you want to get your holiday list started early, think about adding wearable health devices.